Facts on Food Insects

The paper band at the top of ketchup bottles today is a carry-over from the days when food processing was not as effective as it is today. Back then, that band was necessary to conceal the layer of bug parts that would inevitably rise to the surface of the ketchup.

bugs-in-montreal-035Even today, the FDA allows a percentage of bugs and/or bug parts in most of our foods. This happens because the FDA recognizes two facts: that those bug parts will do us no harm; and that food manufacturers could not possibly ensure that there are no bug parts at all in our food products.

Lumbermen in early Maine ate carpenter ants, supposedly to prevent scurvy.

Workers in Chinese silk factories, after boiling the silkmoth cocoons to remove the silk for further processing, are able to take the pupae home for dinner. And often they do.

A total of six arthropods are mentioned a total of 68 times in the Bible. At least one insect is considered kosher; both names given in Leviticus (11:21-23) are locusts.Mopane (the caterpillars of a moth species) are a huge industry in numerous African countries. Many tons of the caterpillars are harvested, processed, and sold in markets or by the truckload.

One attractive feature of insects is how well they convert food into energy, and also into consumable material. Their ECI index is much, much higher than that of vertebrates.

bugs-in-montreal-037In addition to raising your own food-insect supply [it's quite easy] or catching from the wild, there are numerous stores in various American cities [Providence RI is but one example] that sell frozen insects from Thailand and other countries in SE Asia.

There are many accounts of the ways that indigenous peoples gathered insects for food. In almost every instance, the abundance of the bugs and the methods used made this kind of food-gathering much more efficient than any other kind of hunting or farming.

There are already cricket farms in this country, which raise these and other insects for the pet trade. They turn out tons of insects per week. Since we know that these bugs can be good food for humans, just think about what a difference this kind of food supply could make for us!

Consider the possibilities! All you have to lose is your own prejudices!!

Sources include:

* The Eat-A-Bug Cookbook by David George Gordon (Ten Speed Press, San Francisco, CA)
* Man Eating Bugs, by Peter Menzel and Faith D’Alusio (Ten Speed Press, San Francisco, CA)